The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a draft opinion on exposure to the controversial industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA). EFSA’s experts concluded that diet is the main source of BPA in humans, but that exposure is lower than previously thought.
The draft opinion was drawn up by the Scientific Panel on Food Contact materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids and used new information submitted to EFSA following a request for data. The new data prompted significant changes to previous exposure estimates produced in 2006. Average dietary exposure to BPA in infants and toddlers is now estimated to be 375 ng/kg bodyweight/day, while in adults over 18 years of age it is 132 ng/kg bodyweight/day. These figures are less than 1% of the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) set for BPA in 2006.
The second most important source of BPA exposure after food was found to be thermal paper, which accounted for 15% of total exposure in some people. Dietary exposure was found to be highest in children aged three to ten and the most significant food sources of BPA for all age groups were canned food and non-canned meat products.
EFSA will now move on to consider the potential human health risks of these levels of exposure to BPA, following a consultation process on the draft opinion. The opinion can be found in full here.